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Minutes of the DVHA Committee Meeting held on Saturday 18 April 2009

 at Moreton Village Hall, Moreton, Dorset



Chair: Baird Oldrey (BO) - West Moors

Secretary: Mary Mathers (MM) - Morden VH

Members: Bill Crumbleholme (BC), Upwey VH, Brian Baggott (BB) & Pat Baggott (PB) - Moreton VH, Marian Eldrett - Woodlands VH, Colin Rhymes – Stalbridge, John Clode - Canford Cliffs VH,

Apologies from: Simon Thomson (ST) - LUCA, Pat Pullen (PP) - Walditch VH, Michael Sheasby (MS) - Thorncombe, Peter Orchard (PO) - DCA


1.    Welcome

BO welcomed everyone and thanked BB & PB for hosting the meeting at Moreton.

2.    Minutes of last meeting

Minutes of meeting held on 14 February 2009 were agreed and signed.

3.    Matters arising (not covered below)

Data protection registration – carried forward in ST’s absence.

4.    Chairman’s Report

BO announced the good news that we have a new Dorset Village & Community Halls Advisor (DVCHA) Peter Orchard.  PO was invited to this meeting but had a prior commitment.  He works 2.5 days per week – email is the easiest way to contact him.

MM & BO met PO and Alannah Bolt (AB).  They are keen to work with DVHA as they can’t achieve everything without our help.  PO would like it to be a seamless single service to the VHs and has made proposals to DCA.  AB wanted to discuss his proposals internally with Steve Place and Georgina Morgan at DCA first.

PO has been involved in hall management so has some practical experience.  He wants to communicate with members quickly.  DCA has commissioned a new website but this will not be in place quickly.  PO has an example of a website with user forum ( – its format could be of use to DVHA members.

AB is anxious for a membership push – currently 114 out of 210.  JC asked if DCA have a list of all 210 – yes, this was passed to DVHA some time ago.  DVHA send AGM invitations to all halls via DCA mailing list.  ME proposed that there should be only 1 entity for membership.  (Last year membership was £21 - £14 to DCA and £7 to DVHA, this year it will be £22 - £15 to DCA and £7 to DVHA).  BO views that, while historically DVHA was a product of DCA, we are now equal partners. 

BO commented that last year we gave up on the area structure because of lack of interest. But if the topic for the meeting is interesting, members do attend.  We need area meetings to introduce PO.

BB commented that people are afraid to join another committee when already busy with their own VH.  JC questioned whether the difference between DVHA and DCA is obvious – is there a leaflet that defines the differences..  BO responded that DCA provide a paid advisor, DVHA offer volunteer support.  He has drafted a paper on the role of DVHA.  CR commented that his VH committee is not keen on DVHA as they see it as another Quango.

BO asked whether we wish to merge under one name or not?  DCA has already purchased a domain name of (used for Connecting Dorset) so we could use this.  JC said that we should re-evaluate the partnership.

BO reported that Connecting Dorset has closed its books for new halls but have resources to support 40 halls in Dorset.  This could be regarded as a failure as the project hasn’t achieved the target set BUT it has achieved more penetration than any other county project.  Leigh VH was a superb example with projector, screen and TV in Committee Room.

5.    Secretary’s Report

MM has attended the meetings just reported by BO.  She has claimed the £7 membership for the 114 halls from DCA.

MM requested that all committee members let her have their contact details.

6.    Financials (in lieu of Treasurer’s Report)

BO has produced revised accounts.  He has paid £50 for the use of Leigh VH for the AGM also paid lunch expenses and cake.  We still owe NVHF subscription for 08-09 and 09-10.

7.    Appointment of Treasurer

JC has volunteered. He advised that he is not an accountant but does have experience of book keeping.  BO proposed that John Clode be Treasurer, seconded by PB.  Agreed unanimously.  BO proposed and BC seconded that MM and JC be new signatories on the bank account. (BO and David KcKinna current signatories).  2 signatories are required on cheques.  MM suggested investigating CAF account but it was decided that this was too complicated for our banking requirements.

It was proposed to move the financial year to April to March to align with DCA’s change in the membership year.

8.    Correspondence

BO has sent Ann Abernethie’s letter on Corporate Manslaughter on to Alannah Bolt.  She said that there is advice on the DCA website.  MM said that her hall’s recent renewal from AON  insurance now covers this.

9.    Organisation

Partnership with DCA

BO asked the committee how they viewed this.  ME said that DVHA should do ‘what it says on the tin’ and we need to explain what the “Association” is.  BC said that that we must make sure that we are not set up to provide a service that we can’t.  BO thought that DVHA should help halls to promote themselves – eg provide a basic page for halls that don’t have their own website.  Dorset Adult Learning may provide help.  BO has researched various software packages that may be useful.  JC said that we need an objective of what we want to achieve.  BO & MM to dig out what has already been written and refine.  BC thought we need good communications and members signed up.

Area Structure and Representatives

BO said that DVHA works with informal area structures. MM said that, for the area to be effective, it is important to have reps. 

Locations of the current committee are:

                   Central                            BB & PB

North                              CR

East                                BO & ME

Purbeck                           MM & ST

West                               PP & MS

Weymouth & Portland       BC     

DVHA/DCA Membership/Subscriptions – MM has claimed £7 from DCA for 114 halls for membership year 2008.

NVHF – the 2007-8 subscription needs to be paid out of the 2008 membership fees.  We also need to pay 2008-9.  Total £300.  (This was agreed at the last meeting).

10. Events

Report on AGM  - Saturday 14 March @ Leigh VH

BO reported a very good meeting.  Opportunity for the DVHA and members to thank Lois.  Leigh provided a lesson in positive hall design.  Fantastic food thanks to Sue Oldrey.  BC signed up a few halls for Yahoo groups.   

Area based meetings

First theme – “The new world of VH advice”.  Area meetings to be held in halls that have broadband connections.  Timings to be decided once PO has had induction and we have website ready.  DCA have a funding advisor for the county but not specifically for VHs.

11. Connecting Dorset Support

The Connecting Dorset project is coming to a close.  Could organise an end of term party for halls that have joined up.  Extra money has been made available for running costs and Morden have received a grant of £2,000 towards their telephone installation. 

12. Reports on Projects

On hold.

13. Website

The website presence needs to be enhanced with graphics and an advert for the AGM.  Also need a framework for the Yahoo groups.  AGM minutes and ACRE material would also need loading.   BC suggested loading case studies eg applications for grants.  BO commented that we can also learn from bad experiences eg applications that fail.  CR asked about potential claims about incorrect advice.  BO said that this should be covered by a disclaimer emphasising that advice is given on the basis of shared experience rather than ‘expert’.

BC also suggested a knowledge base of subjects eg hire rates and asking for subjects that people would be interested in for area meetings.

14. Meeting Calendar

 Next committee meeting at Morden VH on Saturday 6 June 2009 @ 10 am. (subsequently date changed to Saturday 30 May) 

15. Any Other Business

Mary Mathers

Secretary Dorset Village Halls Association

Wayside Cottage, 36 West Morden, WAREHAM, Dorset BH20 7EA
Tel: 01929 459217  e-mail: